Humberside

Hospitals' overtime pay cut risks patient care: Unison

Hull Royal Infirmary
Image caption The overtime dispute affects two hospitals in Hull and East Yorkshire

A health union has claimed patient care will suffer if new overtime rates are introduced at two hospitals in Hull and East Yorkshire.

The plan would introduce lower "casual worker" overtime rates, replacing the current time-and-a-half pay system.

Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust said the change was needed to help save £25m over the next year.

The trade union Unison said the move would cause staff shortages and have an impact on patient care.

Ray Gray, regional secretary for Unison, said meetings with the trust management had failed to reach an agreement. He said the union would oppose the move and that any change would have to be "imposed" by the trust.

'Need them'

"If it comes in and they get less than the pay now they're not going to work it," said Mr Gray.

"However the trust tries to dress that up it means staff will not be on the ward. They don't pay them for nothing; they pay them because they need them.

"If they're not going to work we are going to see staff shortages on the wards, and that in turn must have an impact on patient care."

Mike Wright, chief nurse at Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "The trust has to make savings of £25m in this financial year and we are looking at a range of options to reduce premium rate overtime payments.

"This is one of a number of schemes aimed at securing the future of our services as well as the jobs of our staff."

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